Jens' Reign of Winter
A young winter witch
Freiya used to live in a small village in the eternal cold of Irisen.
Things were relatively good, until one day her father took her out into the wild. He had never done that, but thinking nothing special of it she obeyed his wishes.
After a couple of hours of making their way through the snow, he told her she’d been chosen by the village as a 7-yearly offering to the witches of the land. She couldn’t believe what she heard, but he proceeded to tie her to a tree and then left her there.
Some time later three women came up through the woods, and untied her. They ordered her to follow and took her into an underground lair.
She doesn’t know how much time she spent there, but it seems like years. She had to do the work in that lair, and was forbiden to leave. They made it clear she wouldn’t like what would happen if she tried. And all the while the three witches seemed divided on the choice between teaching her their witchcraft, or killing her in a ritual.
And then the strange dreams started. She doesn’t remember them clearly, but some images are quite clear in her mind. Visions of strange creatures and even stranger places. And a strange voice talking in her head, speaking of hope and an important task.
One evening a fox trotted into the lair. It walked up to her, and looked at her with keen eyes; the kind of eyes that hint of a profound wisdom not found in an ordinary fox. And she heard that voice again. The voice urged her to believe in herself and walk out of the lair. It said it was now or never. She had to choose between taking the risk and walking out, or never leave again.
So she chose to leave. Strangely enough the witches never noticed.
She decided to head South and look for the images she’d had. Most importantly, she was going to look for a face she’d seen. She sensed destiny was going to lead her to the person behind that face. And then she would take it from there.
The fox was trotting behind her, still looking at her with those knowing eyes. She decided to call him Daji